Buyer’s Guide 2017: Colnago V1-r
The V1-r yearns for racecourses with plenty of climbing, yet it edges into the aero category as well. That’s one of the joys of this Colnago: It doesn’t hide its intention to be fast, yet it’s surprisingly versatile for all applications. It has aero touches, but it lacks some true…
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The V1-r yearns for racecourses with plenty of climbing, yet it edges into the aero category as well. That’s one of the joys of this Colnago: It doesn’t hide its intention to be fast, yet it’s surprisingly versatile for all applications.
It has aero touches, but it lacks some true aero bike characteristics like totally internal cable routing (the V1-r’s front end is littered with cables, though they disappear into the frame from there). Curiously, the rear brake is still mounted on the bottom bracket shell, which arguably doesn’t lend any aero advantage. It certainly makes rear brake adjustments more difficult, and we experienced some brake rub during even easy sprints. The brake could easily be mounted in a more traditional location on the seat stays with no detriment and little effect on aerodynamics.
The incredibly responsive steering is a boon for those who prefer quick steering over long, languid handling. It’s a bike meant for the pros, so this responsiveness is no surprise, even though our lab testing revealed a fair bit of flex at the head tube. With an appropriately steep 73.5-degree head angle and 166-millimater head tube (size 52SL), the V1-r goes exactly where you point it, no muscling required.
The mountains of Colorado quickly unmask posers, but the V1-r is a cable climber too. It’s responsive to quick accelerations and lithely when you’re out of the saddle upping your watts. It builds up light at 15.34 pounds (with our test build), too.
It’s no comfort bike, but you won’t feel shattered after a ride either. On the grand scale of compliance, the V1-r falls somewhere in the middle: You’ll feel cracks and bumps in the road, but the monocoque carbon frame Colnago developed with Ferrari is supple enough to keep the worst of it at bay. Remember, the tubes feature aero shaping, which errs on the side of stiffness. Call it an aero hybrid, perhaps.
The V1-r is available as a frameset only for $4,399 ($4,599 for the disc brake version), which is steep for sure. By the time you deck this out in a drivetrain and wheels, that price tag can easily inch toward $9,000, which was the approximate total price for our test model. We rode the V1-r with Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 and DT Swiss Spline RC38C wheels, both of which complemented the rocket-charged raciness of the V1-r. But if that’s too rich for your blood, you can save some cash with an aluminum wheelset and a Shimano Ultegra mechanical kit.